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The Usefulness of a Tennis Elbow Strap for Injured Athletes

Author Zizzur Staff. Published on October 17, 2011 - 11:21 pm (396 views — 409 words)

Lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow is the most typical injury that tennis players suffer from. Given the chance, any person dislikes the idea of having tennis elbow which is a painful and inconvenient condition because it prevents a person from doing simple tasks such as lifting, carrying, or just opening doorknobs. It must also be understood that even people who are not involved in sports can also acquire tennis elbow. Some individuals who perform tasks such as hammering or gripping increase their chance of having tennis elbow.

One of the most typical approach to treatment involves the use of a tennis elbow strap. Further research has been made which claims the usefulness of tennis elbow strap which could hasten the recovery period of injured players. In a recent issue of Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy , a study was made with its main purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of tennis elbow strap using a control group with lateral epicondylitis. Two important factors were determined in the study -the amount of pain-free grip strength and maximum grip strength using different kinds of tennis elbow strap where a placebo strap was also included. The most ideal material for a tennis elbow strap would be Velcro because it attaches itself easily.

The tennis elbow strap is mainly used to apply pressure over the tendons that can reduce the painful condition associated with tennis elbow. The theory behind this is known as counter-force bracing somehow similar to a guitar's mechanics. The tennis elbow strap counter force exerted is comparable to the fingers on a guitar's neck ( your forearm) and the extensor muscles, mostly the extensor carpi radialis brevis, acting as the guitar string, thus tension of the muscles are reduced as they attach to the lateral epicondyle.

Truly, the study is well researched because it has practical applications.

The result of the study stated one important concept - that strapping is a good measure in decreasing pain when force is exerted. When the subjects in the study used a tennis elbow strap, they could exert 16% more strength. It was concluded in the study that between the strap and a sleeve with a built in strap, there was no difference at all which shows that the strap is the main factor. In conclusion, using a tennis elbow strap has some value in speedy recovery from injury. Nevertheless, seek medical attention as soon as tennis elbow pain is felt.